Rutabaga Education Curriculum
Rutabaga Education is a one-of-a-kind, easy-to-teach curriculum that incorporates garden-based science, nutrition and nature, designed for grades K-4. It’s an accessible program that can be used by teachers, classroom volunteers and homeschooling parents who are looking to grow the next generation of eco-conscious citizens.
It’s the perfect resource for activating and providing structure to under-used school gardens, while also providing lesson plans for those without gardens or limited by inclement weather.
Rutabaga Education was designed by a teacher/gardener/mother to have an intuitive structure that offers 30 weeks of garden instruction throughout the school year, providing an engaging, holistic approach that touches on everything from healthy eating to composting, history to art, and conservation to mindfulness.
Ten seasonal lesson plans are included in each Rutabaga Education book. The lessons are designed to build upon themselves from week to week within a season, and then from season to season. And when combined with other grades in the Rutabaga Education series, the lesson content builds, repeats and reinforces from year to year.
The majority of each lesson can be taught without having a physical garden, which benefits schools and homes without access to one, or when bad weather keeps students indoors.
These easy-to-teach lessons include step-by-step instructions, photos and teaching materials, recipes, garden activities, suggested picture books, and yoga-based movement and breathing activities.
For outdoor durability, books are spiral-bound and printed on 14pt extra thick semi-gloss card stock (Covers are 16pt). Go ahead and get them dirty.
Rutabaga Education is the passion project of Kaitlin Mitchell, a former elementary school educator with a master's degree in Cross-Cultural Education who San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine describes as "an edible gardening evangelist."
This fall marks Kaitlin's fifth year serving as a School Garden Coordinator. She organizes the lessons and supplies that get almost 500 kids growing and learning outdoors every week (30 weeks during the year) in the school garden.
"My goal in creating the Rutabaga Education books is to establish an accessible resource that allows more children to get outdoors and grow. I have put my heart and soul into this project, and I appreciate you investing in educating the future ambassadors of our planet. Happy gardening!"
Rutabaga Education donates a portion of its proceeds to school and community garden programs.
What is a Rutabaga?
According to Wikipedia, rutabaga is "a root vegetable that originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip." The rutabagas I've seen are stocky, textured, and two-toned. The bottom half is creamy white, and the tops are varying shades of purple and maroon.
You can consume both the root and leaves of a rutabaga plant, but I am more familiar with dishes that incorporate the bottom portion of the plant. Once you get past the root's rough exterior, the buttery yellow inside is slightly sweet and earthy.
Why did I choose the name "Rutabaga"? In all honesty, I l love how it rolls off the tongue. I find it both kitschy and fun.
You'll see - it will "grow" on ya! ~ Kaitlin Mitchell